Massive rise in ebook readers, and it's making people read more

Massive rise in ebook readers, and it's making people read more
It's only words...

The ebook reader has proven to be a huge smash for the UK audience, with an astounding one in ten of us owning the device and book reading on the up as a result.

With tablets also growing hugely, the UK public is clearly expanding out from traditional media, and the ebook reader has become a firm favourite.

Just 3 per cent of people owned a digital book reader in 2011, so the double figures reported by Ofcom represent a startling increase in the past 12 months.

Middle-age spread

As well as one in ten of us owning an ebook reader – and Amazon's Kindle remains the firm market leader – the figures rise to 15 per cent among 35-44 year olds.

Brilliantly, the ebook reader is encouraging owners to read more, and we'd hope at least some of that is non Shades of Grey-esque literature.

"Ebook readers have a positive impact on the amount people read," said Ofcom. "Forty-one per cent claim to read more since owning an ebook reader.

"This trend is most prominent among 18-34 year olds – 53 per cent claim they have read more since having an ebook reader


As you would expect, portability is a key factor, allowing people to port their holiday books without taking up valuable suitcase real-estate.

"Fifty-three per cent of owners say they bought an ebook reader because it is easy to carry around, 50 per cent so they could easily carry lots of books on holiday, and 45 per cent as it is lightweight."

Last, but not least, 29 per cent of people are looking beyond books, and using their ebook reader for papers and magazines as well.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.